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How to Make Simple, Homemade, Holiday Crowd-Pleasers

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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Wed Nov 20, 2013.

(StatePoint) Whether you’re playing host or bringing a side dish to someone else’s holiday gathering, preparing a delicious crowd-pleaser that’s simple and affordable to make is a priority for many.

“The days of spending hours in the kitchen making homemade dishes from scratch are long gone, says Jonathan Spear at Green Giant.  “These days, time-crunched family cooks can take solace in knowing that any dish that starts and ends in the kitchen can be considered homemade, including meals using conveniences such as frozen vegetables and sauces from a jar.”

This holiday season, if you want to stand out by serving that memorable dish that didn’t take hours to prepare, consider the following tried-and-true culinary tips:

• Shed the time-consuming task of washing and chopping vegetables by going frozen. Frozen veggies are picked at their peak, making them just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. 

• Use free online resources to find quick, easy holiday appetizers, entrees and desserts. For example, visit www.seriouseats.com for festive holiday recipes like Cheesy Broccoli Puffs with Sriracha sauce or Roasted Potato and Sausage Quiche.

• Don’t rely on unhealthy ingredients to add wow-factor to holiday dishes.  Instead, add simple ingredients such as fresh herbs and spices to any recipe for layers of flavor and zest. Everyone will be asking for the recipe.

For an interesting new twist on a classic holiday meal, try Green Giant’s recipe for Turkey and Veggie Alfredo Pot Pie:

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Start to Finish: 40 Minutes

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 1/2 cup chopped onion

• 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo sauce

• 2 cups cubed cooked turkey

• 1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower & cheese sauce

• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1 can (12 oz) Pillsbury Golden Layers refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

• 2 tablespoons shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions

• Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook frozen vegetables as directed on bag for minimum time.

• Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in Alfredo sauce, turkey, cooked vegetables with sauce, basil and black pepper. Cook until mixture is thoroughly heated and bubbly, stirring constantly. Spoon into baking dish.

• Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit in half crosswise. Arrange around edge of baking dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

• Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

More recipes to accompany this dish -- such as Garden Vegetables with Lemon-Scented Quinoa and Broccoli and Artichoke Party Dip are available at Jolly Green Giant TV

With simple recipes and the right ingredients, homemade holiday cooking can be as enjoyable a part of the season as gift-giving and sharing time with family!

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